In of obligation. Overnight Gregor mysteriously becomes an insect.

In
The Metamorphosis Gregor Samsa does what most people do he trains in a skill
and sells his time performing it. The Samsa’s are mostly concerned with him regarding
money and are more than willing to take advantage of his sense of obligation. Overnight
Gregor mysteriously becomes an insect. His family is largely concerned about
how it will affect their lives and financial position. When Gregor wakes up in
the morning and realizes that his transformation has turned him into a monster
his first anxieties are his greatest fear of missing work something he hasn’t
done in nearly 5 years. While his family is less concerned with his condition
as they are his job. He can feel his father disappointment even before he
leaves his bed. Gregor was grieving over hearing his sister weeps; wondering
why she was crying? And further to think his boss would come to collect old
debts owed by his family. Gregor’s relationship with his sister is important to
him but begins to fear that she is only nice to him because of the money he
provides the family.  Gregor has provided
the family with adequate finances for years at a job which he doesn’t find
fulfillment and isn’t happy. He honestly believed that without him they would
suffer. However, while Gregor was spending time working, his family spends
their time relaxing at home. His father spends his time sitting at the table in
the kitchen reading the newspaper all day. His sister spends her time following
clothing trends and passing time by practicing her violin and assisting her
mother. They all even have time for a midday nap. Gregor finds pleasure in the
idea that his is providing such a lifestyle for his family but his kindness is met
with antipathy from his father and insignificance of appreciation from his
mother and sister.  None of the family
was grateful for the effort Gregor put into his work and were never able to fully
appreciate him and the life they lived. “they had grown used to it, they
accepted the money, but no particularly warm feelings were generated any
longer.” At one-point Gregor is deeply distressed that the times of,
“peace, prosperity, and contentment” are ending because of this
change. Kafka represents Gregor as worthless to the family outside his ability
to make money. Gregor feels worthless, and the family feels he is worthless
when he is unable to financially support them.

Not
only is Gregor alienating himself from his family, but he is also alienating
himself from society. Gregor is penalized for his efforts to be a good son, and
a good worker; his toils are completely taken for granted by both family and
employer. Gregor is completely isolated by his job; he has no friends, and no
chance to make friends. He hates his job, and fantasizes about quitting as soon
as he has paid off his father’s debt. Gregor is virtually a slave to his job;
he is an insect scampering about trying to please others; he has lost his
humanity in his pursuit of material possessions. His dedication is not
appreciated by his family or his employer, in fact, his dedication is so taken
for granted it has not earned him praise or reward of any type, but has made
any slightly selfish act on his part unacceptable to those around him. His boss
shows up at the house before Gregor is even an hour late and tells Gregor his
job is in jeopardy. He accuses Gregor of costing the company money by his
absence, and directly accuses him of stealing from the company. Gregor’s Family
does not defend Gregor, nor are they angered at the clerk for coming to their
house, insulting, and upsetting their possibly very ill son. The Samsa’s only
thoughts are of placating and appeasing the clerk. Gregor makes equal efforts
at pacification and includes his family in his attempts to calm the situation.
Gregor begs the clerk to give a good word for him to the owner of the company,
and is desperate for the chief clerk to validate him. Gregor’s change into an
insect, is ironically, his first taste of freedom in his adult life. He is free
from his hated job, and he is free from the pressure to support his family.

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As
Gregor’s life becomes more lonely, agonizing, and insignificant the Samsa
family began to rely more on themselves. The father, considered an invalid
before, gets a job and takes his place as the head of the household. The sister
gets a job, becomes more physically beautiful, and earns the respect of her
parents. The mother becomes stronger, works more around the house, and is less
prone to fainting. The family’s new found financial pressures should lead to a
new respect for Gregor and his selfless endeavors through the years, instead
they become more and more convinced of his uselessness. Gregor has nothing to
offer them, and has nothing left to do but die. The more independent the Samsas
become the more they neglect Gregor, and the more anxious they are to get rid
of him.

Kafka criticized many
common tendencies of society in his Metamorphosis. He is very critical of the
common habit of treating those willing to do the most for you like doormats
while being almost worshipful to those who are indifferent to your existence or
even scornful. People should love and respect those who make sacrifices for
them, but it is usually the opposite. Kafka is also critical of the way the
modern world and pursuit of financial security turns people into metaphorical
insects; we scamper about performing resented tasks for pieces of paper. At the
end of the day we are left with no meaningful bonds, nothing to say to each
other, and the desire for more wealth. Money should be something that happens to
enrich our lives, and work should ideally be satisfying. Gregor’s life turns
him into a figurative insect, then a literal one. Kafka theorized that humans
have an individual self-serving need but also human know the benefits of
society. There is a need for the delicate balance of the two where we can
benefit from both. If one chooses himself over all over, he will be lonely and
not have the benefits and support relationships and communities provide;
However, with society of conformity and loss of the individual.